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Shalnan

Rotate Docking Ports in Right Click Menu

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When the information panel is displayed for a docked docking port, include a readout of the current angle of the face of the docking port relative to its partner. Include + and - buttons to rotate the partner docking port (and attached structure) without undocking.

This would allow a much greater degree of precision in the construction of structures and vehicles in-situ.

For example, two short 2.5m vehicles with two Rovemax XL3 wheels each in mirror attachment could dock with Clamp-O-Tron Sr. ports to form a large rover. It would be much easier to ensure that the wheels are all facing in the same direction with this method, rather than undocking and rotating a potentially unbalanced structure.


Something like this:
KSP_port_angle.jpg

Edited by Shalnan
Reference Image Added

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I like this but I wonder how it could work. Would the ports provide the tork or the modules reaction wheels? 

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On 10/31/2016 at 8:56 PM, Planetfall said:

I like this but I wonder how it could work. Would the ports provide the tork or the modules reaction wheels? 

I suppose that the docking ports themselves would provide the torque, but it would have to be a very small value.  

I don't think this will work though.  Imagine 2 vessels docked by 2 docking ports.  If you rotate one, do you break the link on the other?  The torsional stress might be strong enough to tear parts off of one or both vessels.  It would require a lot of safeguards to be done properly.

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On 10/31/2016 at 8:56 PM, Planetfall said:

Would the ports provide the tork or the modules reaction wheels? 

Torque would not necessarily have to be calculated, depending on how the feature is implemented.

As a simple implementation, essentially setting the angle would be physicsless, like rotating a child part (the docked ship) against the parent in the editor. This could be an instantaneous angle change or it could be programmed to slowly rotate into the specified angle.

A more complex implementation would work something like a rotating joint in Infernal Robotics and that would be something that would indeed impart torque to both sides of the connection, possibly stressing or breaking the joint if too much force is applied.

4 hours ago, natsirt721 said:

 Imagine 2 vessels docked by 2 docking ports.  If you rotate one, do you break the link on the other?  The torsional stress might be strong enough to tear parts off of one or both vessels.  It would require a lot of safeguards to be done properly.

I had not considered trying to rotate a ship docked to the parent at two or more points. It should be fairly straightforward to make a check that would display "Error: Vessel not free to rotate." if more than one connection to the parent exists. You would have to undock ports until only one connection remains in order to rotate by the remaining port.

As far as torque and rotational stresses go, in an orbital vacuum it would only take a small force to slowly rotate even a very large vessel. The larger and more off-center the child structure, however, the longer it would take.


Frankly, even without an explaination in lore (I.E. "small interlocking gears and tracks along the face of the docking port") this would be such a quality of life improvement for building vessels in orbit that it would be a very welcome feature in my opinion.

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I like this concept.  It may work best as an option available only on initially docking, so that in effect you get to set the relative rotation of the two ports before finally locking them together, a bit like when you assemble things in the VAB. This would sidestep the 'where does the torque come from? question, as it would be performed as part of the docking manoeuvre by the active vessel.  To adjust this angle later you would then need to undock and repeat the process. 

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I would think the nest way to get tour desired result would be to allow gendering and angle-locking to docking ports from the get-go (it is already stock, but you have to activate it from the config) Instead of battling the many issues of rotating structures in space, simply make sure they are aligned before they dock.

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On 2.11.2016 at 6:09 PM, natsirt721 said:

I suppose that the docking ports themselves would provide the torque, but it would have to be a very small value.  

I don't think this will work though.  Imagine 2 vessels docked by 2 docking ports.  If you rotate one, do you break the link on the other?  The torsional stress might be strong enough to tear parts off of one or both vessels.  It would require a lot of safeguards to be done properly.

Mechanic would be disable while multidocking ports would be detected?

Or we can have different approach with usage of pilot skills. Choose what angle we want during docking and wait until pilot maneuvers ship for desired docking angle.

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I don't think I have encountered any instance of multi-port docking that is not done primarily to counteract the fact that docking ports cannot snap to specific angles - except for multi-module rings, but in that case I imagine that, as has already been suggested, there would simply be an error if the player attempted to rotate the docking ports.

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22 hours ago, Darnok said:

Or we can have different approach with usage of pilot skills. Choose what angle we want during docking and wait until pilot maneuvers ship for desired docking angle.

Now that's a nice idea. 

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On 11/5/2016 at 6:53 PM, eloquentJane said:

I don't think I have encountered any instance of multi-port docking that is not done primarily to counteract the fact that docking ports cannot snap to specific angles - except for multi-module rings, but in that case I imagine that, as has already been suggested, there would simply be an error if the player attempted to rotate the docking ports.

This is a really good point, something I didn't even consider.  I suppose you can use multi-porting for increased structural strength, but with auto-strut now that isn't even a constraint.

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USI Construction has a nice system that it uses with its 90-degree-only docking ports, where you "soft-dock" purely through magnetic forces, and only fully attaches the two craft when you hit the right angle. It's a nifty little system, and I'm pretty sure it only uses the previously mentioned stock modules. :) 

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35 minutes ago, GluttonyReaper said:

USI Construction has a nice system that it uses with its 90-degree-only docking ports, where you "soft-dock" purely through magnetic forces, and only fully attaches the two craft when you hit the right angle. It's a nifty little system, and I'm pretty sure it only uses the previously mentioned stock modules. :) 

Actually, yes, just a couple of MM config lines do the job. I'm hunting down the link right now.

Here, found it. There's plenty of configs there, the one you want is  Add Angled Docking Ability to Docking Ports

What it does is as @GluttonyReaper said above: the ports do their magnetic attraction, but they only lock if they're at 90-degree increments (or 45, 30, or whatever, configurable in the file), with a certain precision (also configurable).

Edited by monstah
found link

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On 11/11/2016 at 7:59 AM, monstah said:

Here, found it. ... What it does is as @GluttonyReaper said above: the ports do their magnetic attraction, but they only lock if they're at 90-degree increments (or 45, 30, or whatever, configurable in the file), with a certain precision (also configurable).
 

Oh, wow, thanks for bringing this to my attention! Although I'd still like to see my suggestion implemented in its entirety for obvious reasons, this should work as a useful band-aid to some problems in the interim.

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